Salma Hayek: Harvey Weinstein is trying to discredit women of colour

Devin Lawrence
May 15, 2018

"Black Panther" star Lupita Nyong'o described her own alleged predatory encounters with Weinstein in a New York Times piece published in October.

She also expressed frustration over Weinstein's decision to only comment on the allegations made by women of color because they are the easiest to discredit according to her.

Mexican-American actress Salma Hayek, a vocal campaigner against sexual harassment in the movie industry, says male stars should get less pay as a way to even things up with chronically underpaid women.

The 51 year old said the protest, against female underrepresentation at Cannes and beyond, had been "very a woman [who] has had to go through all the struggles that all women have to go through".

"So, he went attacking the two women of colour, in hopes that if he could discredit us, he could then maybe discredit the rest", Hayek told Variety during Women In Motion panel discussion at Cannes Film Festival. But she also had a warning for these women: "they still want to pay you the exploitative salary they paid you before". "I hope I can get another job".

"We are 82 women, representing the number of female directors who have climbed these stairs since the first edition of the Cannes film festival in 1946", Cate Blanchett read from a statement on behalf of the collective.

The actress and producer, who says she has sold a raft of female-led projects "that I had been trying to make for 10 years" since the Weinstein scandal shook up Hollywood, said real change was happening.

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During a career talk at the festival, she also said the current backlash against sexual harassment in the film industry meant "men are terrified".

Hayek has become one of the leading voices in the #MeToo and Time's Up movements. But she feels, "It's a very exciting time for men now".

"We should have been angrier soon".

Hayek said men should not be afraid of change in the gender balance.

Hayek went on, "It's a proven fact that women of colour are less listened to".

"I think it's an invitation for us to think differently and to act differently", she said.

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